30 Nov

Palm Springs is the present home to our friends Mark and Linda and we were invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them. However when we began to ring around for a campground we found them to be either extremely expensive, full or both. No worries after a quick phone call to Mark he spoke IMG_3407 with the church authorities next door to the resort where he works, who have a large mostly unused car park and we had a parking space for the holiday!

Following Mark through the gate of the resort, we entered a green oasis, a central pool and hot tub were surrounded by lawns and beautifully planted borders all bounded by the self contained holiday units. We were introduced to Ron and Norma the owners and their daughter, Alexei, home for the Thanksgiving holiday, then went to find Mackie, Linda and Marks Westie, who was waiting in their accommodation to greet us like old friends. We later retrieved Linda from her place of work and enjoyed an evening together catching up and eating Marks ‘delicacies’.

Whilst this is one of the biggest holidays in the calendar many people work through or have to take it as a part of their annual allocation. Linda had drawn a short straw she had to start work at 7am on Thursday (Thanksgiving day) and 5am the day after, both days working until lunchtime, but had Wednesday as a free day. Mark works flexi hours and put in extra every day to allow him to have Thursday off, but was still on call. So with Mark left behind working Linda, Robert and I all headed for downtown Palm Springs which surprised me. I had expected a City centre environment instead of which we found a small town IMG_3381feeling to the shops and cafes along the main street. We saw the paving stones with stars names embedded in the centre, me being the non film buff did not recognise many and much to Linda’s amusement was not even sure who the bronze statue was we stood in front of until she told me it was Lucille Ball 

After browsing a few of the stores we enjoyed a pizza lunch and another long chat before returning to A Place in the Sun for the pre Thanksgiving evening get together for residents and friends, around the pool, to which we had been invited. More chat more lovely people to meet and talk with, including a couple who even knew and had visited our home City of Newcastle upon Tyne!

Mark was determined the traditional bird would play a large role in the feast, despite four of the eight guests at the gathering we were to attend in their friends home being vegetarian and Linda not liking Turkey. We joined him mid IMG_3386morning and as we walked around to their unit the air was heavy with the smell of many cooking turkeys. Mark was busily preparing stuffing and potatoes to accompany his masterpiece. On TV the Macy’s parade was in full swing, never having seen it before I was delighted to see all the floats and characters parading in front of the New York store. (Dora the Explorer and a huge Buzz Light year were my special favourites)

With Turkey and trimmings well cooked and Linda home from work we loaded their car and drove the ten mile or so to Malgosia and Thomas home in Desert Hot Springs, joined their by Marsha and Tony their friends  we enjoyed IMG_3388 wonderful hospitality. Everyone had brought along a little something for the feast which I thought was a much better idea (family please take note here!!) than one person doing all the cooking. We also had lots of recipe swapping, other peoples cooking is always seems so much tastier than your own!


With Linda needing to get up at 3am we did not have a late night and having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves had to say our thanks and Goodbyes.

Thanksgiving is not a festivity we celebrate in England but I feel this is a good time for us to express our thanks to the many friends we have made over this last year. From brief contact to lasting friendships made, we have been truly touched by the warmth of the welcome and our experiences have been richer for meeting you.

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